The objective of this guide is to show how to check what version of Kali Linux a system is running. This includes information such as the version number and what CPU architecture the system uses (i.e. 32 or 64 bit).
Kali is a rolling release, meaning that there are no full system upgrades. Rather, users just need to update all the packages on their system in order to upgrade to the latest version of Kali. With this in mind, it’s not as much of a concern to know if your system has fallen out of date or not, as updating it can be done entirely with apt package manager. We’ll show you how below.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to check Kali Linux version
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
Check Kali Version
We’ll be showing a few different commands that can be used to check the version of your system. Some of them reveal different information than others, but there’s also a lot of overlap between most of them. Pick whichever ones are most applicable for your situation.
lsb_release -acommand shows the release version, description, and operating system codename. This is the simplest way to quickly find what version of Kali you’re running. In our example below, we’re on
$ lsb_release -a No LSB modules are available. Distributor ID: Kali Description: Kali GNU/Linux Rolling Release: 2020.4 Codename: kali-rolling
/etc/os-releasefile contains various information, including OS version.
$ cat /etc/os-release PRETTY_NAME="Kali GNU/Linux Rolling" NAME="Kali GNU/Linux" ID=kali VERSION="2020.4" VERSION_ID="2020.4" VERSION_CODENAME="kali-rolling" ID_LIKE=debian ANSI_COLOR="1;31" HOME_URL="https://www.kali.org/" SUPPORT_URL="https://forums.kali.org/" BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.kali.org/"
hostnamectlcommand shows us the kernel version and CPU architecture.
$ hostnamectl Static hostname: linuxconfig Icon name: computer-vm Chassis: vm Machine ID: e31601172a1b411a92cc7dd738d65605 Boot ID: 79fb33f634044935a4a14c09be8c4f51 Virtualization: oracle Operating System: Kali GNU/Linux Rolling Kernel: Linux 5.9.0-kali5-amd64 Architecture: x86-64
/proc/versionfile contains build information for the OS.
$ cat /proc/version Linux version 5.9.0-kali5-amd64 (email@example.com) (gcc-10 (Debian 10.2.1-1) 10.2.1 20201207, GNU ld (GNU Binutils for Debian) 2.35.1) #1 SMP Debian 5.9.15-1kali1 (2020-12-18)
If you want to upgrade Kali to the latest version, you can run the commands below. For further explanation, check out our guide on updating Kali Linux.
$ sudo apt update $ sudo apt full-upgrade
In this guide, we saw how to check what version of Kali Linux is installed on a system. The
lsb_release -a or
lsb_release -r commands end up being the simplest ways to get this information, although we also covered more commands that reveal helpful information about the system, such as kernel version and CPU architecture.